“Friend Request” includes work by Sondra N. Arkin, Chuck Baxter, James Cassell, Robert Dodge, Thomas Drymon, Bill Harris, Harriet Lesser, Charlie Jones, Doris Kennedy, Bridget Sue Lambert, Lucinda Murphy, Juan Palomo, Mark Parascandola, Zade Ramsey, Ron Riley, Fabian H. Rios Rubino, Deborah Saks, Nikolas Schiller, Nicolas Shi, George Smith-Shomari, Clara de Soto, Isabelle Spicer, Trish Tillman, Ellyn Weiss.
by Luis Gomez
Marwan Khayat lives in Borderstan, but was born and raised in Israel. He spent most of his childhood and teen years in Nazareth where he attended Catholic school. Marwan’s family has lived in the Galilee area in northern Israel for many generations and it influences his painting.
“Northern Israel is known for its beautiful terrain and captive landscapes. It is an area dear to my heart… and a source of inspiration,” he says.
When asked what motivated him to paint, Marwan says he can’t think of a specific time or incident that got him hooked. He remembers enjoying sketching as a little boy: “Back in middle school, during Christmastime, I was the one assigned to paint on the glass windows in our classroom. Art has always felt as a part of me… it has always felt right to paint and sketch.”
How did he end up in Washington, in Borderstan? Marwan met his wife during college in Israel (she is American) and they then moved to the United States.
“Probably the biggest impact my move to the U.S. had on my art was simply that I was finally able to paint. I was able to find the time and the resources to buy art supplies and paint during the weekends.” Washington provides Marwan with inspiration for his paintings. He notes the city’s diverse population, history and the large number of museums and galleries.
Borderstan—the Dupont-Logan area—provides good inspiration for Marwan’s art. “I get inspired walking down the street, preferably during the fall, on a sunny but cold morning… where light and shadow are harmoniously intertwined on the houses along my route,” he says. Marwan said he particularly likes looking at the houses and architecture on Corcoran Street NW.
Marwan has no formal training: “I get my training from visiting art museums around the world, and reading related books and magazines.” When describing his paintings, he says that he does not yet have a set style or method, and describes his painting style as “dynamic, shifting through phases of fascination, disappointment and perseverance.”
Marwan works as a translator and he and his wife are expecting their first child soon. He has not had any formal exhibitions yet, but hopes they will come.
“For now I am using the walls in our house as my gallery” he says.
Editor’s Note: Check out Marwan’s photo blog, Wiser with Art.
However, Diana’s paintings are all around us. (We own one of her paintings and she is a good friend). She was born in a creative family in Lebanon where design and textiles were all around; her father and two brothers are fashion designers.
However, Diana chose to express her creativity through painting. Inspired by the colors and textures she saw growing up in the family business, she creates her paintings with a rhythm of full strokes, using oil-based paints.
Diana grew up in Lebanon at a time when the country was at war. Although those days were difficult, they were also filled with many beautiful moments.
Growing up in such a rich culture and in such a beautiful place as Lebanon was very inspiring, according to Diana. “I like to think that some of that finds its way in my art.”
Diana started painting 10 years ago when she first came to the United States. Living in Chicago, she wanted to pick up painting again, which she had done on a casual basis back home in Lebanon. She considers herself a self-taught painter, although she has taken a few classes.
“Painting in Chicago was an outlet for my thoughts and a way to express this new life,” Diana said.
Diana said that her father has been a big influence in her life, and that paining is “second nature” because of her creative family; she also credits the support of her sister for her painting.
As for her work, “I like to work with color and texture and most of my paintings are abstract works that I hope have a very positive energy to them. Often, just by observing things day-to-day, I become inspired by a certain colors or combinations of colors and that sends me to the canvas to work.”
Diana has had several exhibitions of her work at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and has also participated in the Artomatic events for the past two years. Her work has also been shown at various establishments in DC.
Why does Diana like Borderstan? “It is a great place in the city and I like to explore all the great coffee shops and restaurants in the area. I enjoy its diversity and life on the street I think it’s one of the most interesting parts of the city right now.”
Photos by Luis Gomez Photos.
A new show, “Line Forms Here – Works in various media with a linear focus,” opened Thursday evening at gallery plan b in Borderstan. The show runs through August 23 at the gallery, located at 1530 14th Street NW.
Gallery owner Paula is featuring works by Chad Andrews… Amy Davis… Karen Hubacher… Juditha… Arpi Sahr… Melissa Widerkehr… Brian Petro… Greg Minah and Gordon Binder. Go to the gallery Web site for links to each artist.
Hours at gallery plan b are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., or by appointment.
We went to Artomatic on Friday and enjoyed it—it’s a loooooot of art. We started at the top and worked our way down, but only saw four floors. But, it’s a great chance to see the work of local artists in a number of different mediums. There are also music performances and other stuff to do; here is the roundup for this final weekend of events at Artomatic.